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APA Legislators React to Las Vegas Massacre

WASHINGTON — Asian Pacific American members of Congress issued the following statements about the shooting at a country music concert in Las Vegas on Sunday that left 58 people dead and nearly 500 wounded.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii): “My thoughts today are with Nevadans. Hawaii sends our aloha to Las Vegas, our ninth island community. With yet another horrific mass shooting, when will Congress stand up to the NRA? This senseless violence must end.”

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.): “My heart goes out to the victims of the tragic shooting in Las Vegas last night and their loved ones. Such senseless and horrifying acts of violence have no place in America or any other nation. The law enforcement officers and first responders who put their lives on the line to protect others deserve our solemn thanks for their bravery and courage in the face of the deadliest shooting in our country’s history.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.): “This morning, we awoke to horrific news out of Las Vegas. More than 50 people were murdered and over 500 more injured, at the hands of a lone gunman. Our hearts break for the victims and their families. We pray for a full recovery for those wounded, and are grateful to the brave first responders for their heroic actions on the scene. My thoughts are especially with the California officers and firefighters who were injured.

“This kind of tragedy has become too routine in America. As a nation, we are weary. We’ve lost far too many of our classmates, friends, family members, and children to gun violence. That’s why as we pray for those recovering, we also must commit ourselves to action. Another moment of silence won’t suffice. Ninety Americans are killed, on average, every day by guns. We cannot simply throw up our hands or continue to justify the presence of weapons of war whose primary purpose is to kill the largest number of human beings in the shortest amount of time possible. We must honestly acknowledge the epidemic of gun violence and work together, now, to curb it.”

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside): “We can debate which policies will effectively reduce gun violence. We can discuss the many factors that threaten the safety our communities. But we cannot and will not accept inaction. Once again, I stood with my colleagues this morning to mourn the loss of life after a mass shooting and renew our call for sensible legislation that keeps dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.”

Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena): “Too much pain in our country today. All of us stand with the survivors and families of those hurt and killed in Las Vegas. As we mourn yet another historic mass shooting in our country, our thoughts must be of solutions, our prayers for the courage to enact them.”

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles): “What happened in Las Vegas was despicable and cowardly. I’ve been in Congress for only two and a half years and yet my sophomore colleagues and I have governed during the two most deadly mass shootings in U.S. history — Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub shooting and now Las Vegas. It’s clear that House Republican leadership’s inaction on gun safety is having devastating consequences. There have been 273 mass shootings in 2017 alone — that represents a mass shooting nearly nine days out of every 10. There have been more than 1,000 mass shootings since 2012, yet House Republicans have blocked all Democratic efforts to bring a single gun safety piece of legislation to the House floor.

“We now know that at least two members of our community in Los Angeles have been killed by this senseless act of violence, and several injured. We join their family and friends and mourn their tragic and untimely passing. Others are still missing or unaccounted for. My district office is ready and available to assist you if you need help getting information. Please call us at (323) 651-1040.”

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento): “Our entire nation grieves with the people of Las Vegas. My heart goes out to the victims, their families, and all of those experiencing unimaginable pain and loss in the wake of this horrific act of violence. We pray for the recovery of those who were injured and send them our strength. We must come together and take action to put an end to these senseless acts of gun violence in our country.”

Rep. Ami Bera (D-Sacramento): “I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life in Las Vegas. No community should have to fear going to the movies, a concert, or dropping their child off at school.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Santa Clara): “Why is now the time to address common-sense gun safety legislation? Because gun violence in America is an epidemic. We shouldn’t have to surpass another historic death toll in a mass shooting. We shouldn’t have to mourn someone who took their own life with a firearm, or lost their life because they were in an abusive relationship. We shouldn’t live in a country where there are more guns than people and more than 11,000 died because of them this year alone. Our country is becoming normalized to daily, senseless acts of gun violence and it has to stop.

“I support measures being taken by my colleagues, including Democratic Leader [Nancy] Pelosi, to establish a Select Committee on Gun Violence; have a vote on the bipartisan bill to expand the background check on gun purchases; prevent any vote on a bill that weakens the regulation of gun silencers; and find policy solutions to limit the availability of high-capacity ammunition and military-style firearms.

“Congress itself is not immune to gun violence, as experienced this past summer. But we are at a turning point to help our communities and I urge all my colleagues – Democrats and Republicans – to take action. We took an oath to serve our country with honor and put forth the best interests of our constituents. It is our moral duty to address this horrific and heartbreaking epidemic.”

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii): “Yet another senseless, horrific mass shooting, this time in Las Vegas, where people gathered to celebrate music. Prayers for those killed, injured and affected.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii): “My heartfelt prayers and deepest condolences go out to the victims of last night’s tragedy, their families, and to the people of Las Vegas. Thank you to the first responders, law enforcement and volunteers who responded quickly and helped get thousands out of harm’s way. We are grateful for your bravery, and our hearts are with you all.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.): “My heart goes out to the victims and the families impacted by the horrific shooting in Las Vegas. Mass shootings have ravaged our country and claimed thousands of innocent lives. Gun violence in this country is a public health crisis and we must do everything we can to address it.

“I am tired of being outraged. I’m tired of praying or sending thoughts. I’m tired of letting men, women and children in every single part of this country be subject to mass shootings because a political gun lobby won’t put people over profit. This is not what our founders intended by the ‘right to bear arms.’

“With rights come responsibilities: the responsibility to close the loopholes in who sells and gets guns; the responsibility to put in place reasonable protections making sure our children don’t have access to guns in the home and those with severe mental illness don’t have guns; the responsibility to address despair and illness with living wage jobs and necessary levels of funding for housing and mental health; the responsibility to oppose the bill the gun lobby is putting forth making it easier to purchase silencers – and even harder to know when a gun has been fired.

“More than 80 percent of gun owners and 74 percent of NRA members support common-sense solutions like criminal background checks, according to surveys. I have a plea today for gun owners across this country. I do not believe that the NRA is lobbying for what you believe in – show them that you mean business by speaking out or giving up your membership in the NRA. Show them that you care about the American people and that you want to stop this lobby from profiting from death.

“This is a problem with a clear solution – yet far too many members of Congress, backed by the gun lobby, refuse to lift a finger to fight this epidemic of violence. This is our responsibility. Enough is enough.”

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.): “In the wake of tragedies like Sunday’s in Las Vegas, there’s always the discussion of the need to avoid bringing too much attention to those responsible in order to avoid somehow glorifying the evil they did or allowing them to be remembered for it. There’s a lot to be said for that. Instead, please think of these people [the victims]who deserve to be remembered.”

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.): “This morning Americans awoke to news of the deadliest mass shooting in our nation’s history. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and the survivors of this horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. The frequency of mass shootings are far too common in our country. No one deserves to bear witness to the type of carnage that occurred in Las Vegas last night.

“The federal government is charged with the basic responsibility of keeping Americans safe, and the president and Congress have an obligation to address our nation’s gun violence epidemic. Congress cannot continue to sit idly by. The American people are demanding that their elected officials take action to prevent more of these horrendous and widespread incidences of violence in our country from happening again. Addressing this issue must be our top priority and I urge the president and the leadership in Congress to take meaningful action that is long overdue.

“The House Democratic Gun Violence Prevention Task Force has made many recommendations that could serve as the beginning of deliberations. Congress could also establish a select committee on this issue pursuant to H. Res. 367, Establishing the Select Committee on Gun Violence Prevention. I and many of my colleagues are ready to work together to make sure these mass shootings are no longer a common occurrence in our society.”

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.): “The news from Las Vegas is heart-wrenching. My thoughts are with the victims, their families and our brave first responders during this extremely difficult time. From one community touched by senseless gun violence to another — we’re here for you.”

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